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Window on the Square (1962)
by Phyllis A. Whitney
Historical Fiction (557)
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This was one of the first 'adult' books I'd ever read, one of my mothers favorites. I love the story, even though it's not my usual fare. Ms. Whitney does a brilliant job of writing characters that come alive - from the prim and proper Megan, to the mercurial Brandon, and the dark and forbidding Garth. I've read this story again and again over the years, wearing out the paperback until it is in pieces and held together with a rubber band. I upgraded to the hardcover version so I can keep on re-reading this book - it stands up very well over time.If you like a 'dark' (kind of gothic) cozy, I think you'll enjoy reading this oldie but goodie. ( )
The heroine of Window on the Square is Megan Kincaid, an orphan. She said her father died in the fighting at Shiloh ten years and more ago. The battle of Shiloh took place on April 6 - 7, 1862, which gives us an approximate date for this novel, which takes place roughly October through early January. (Megan lost her mother and developmentally disabled brother to the hooves of a runaway horse only six months before.)
Megan isn't the dressmaker her mother was. Her mother's business is failing, so Megan accepts an offer to care for a apparently disturbed boy, Jeremy Reid. She's hired by Brandon Reid, Jeremy's uncle, who married his brother's widow, the beautiful Leslie. Leslie is not in favor of the plan. Neither is the governess, Thora Garth, who openly favors Selina, Jeremy's younger sister. Leslie does, too. Even the children's tutor, Andrew Beach, thinks Megan is in over her head.
Megan strives to win Jeremy's trust. She's sure the boy isn't as bad as she's being told. The unfair way Jeremy is being treated makes Megan angry.
She doesn't know what to make of Brandon Reid. She's seen the openly adoring way he treats Leslie, so why is he troubling himself to be friendly to a merely pretty woman such as herself?
Jeremy seems to have a morbid interest in the scene of the accident in which his father was killed -- if it had been an accident. There's a lot of rumor and venom being slung around the Reid house. Megan doesn't know what to believe, except that she's on Jeremy's side. Unfortunately, Megan's partisanship has made her a very open enemy and a less open one. Someone is determined to get Megan out of the house. Will there be another not-so-accidental death?
Two things are done to ancient relics Brandon brought back from Egypt that I wish hadn't happened.
Window on the Square is another of Ms. Whitney's novels that I devoured when I was young and one of those with a climax I still remembered after decades. It didn't ruin my enjoyment a bit. Even knowing there's a problem about the climax (something I didn't know when I was young) didn't ruin it.
In a strange house on Washington square not knowing who to trust, Megan Kincaid finds herself swept up in her own feelings. While having to take care of an unbalanced Jeremy, dealing with the beautiful Leslie Reid and mysterious master of the house, Brandon Reid, Megan will have to find out just where she fits.
The mystery and suspense in this book left me on the edge of my seat. Whitney makes the characters come alive and shine on the pages. Megan Kincaid is truly a heroine to look up to; she has a strong sense of duty and an endearing stubbornness that helps her through her ordeals with Jeremy. This is a fast read that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Also on http://lrjohnson13.blogspot.com/2012/10/window-on-square-by-phyllis-whitney.html
This book, by far, is my favourite of all Whitney's works. It has the best balance of the mystery and romance. The characters are believable and you find yourself entirely sympathising with Megan who is kind, generous and courageous. If you like this book, then you might also like the works by Jane Aiken Hodge, better known for her biography of Georgette Heyer, but who is all the same well established in the Gothic romance genre.
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From a New York Times-bestselling author: In nineteenth-century Manhattan, a young woman is hired to care for a child haunted by murder. Having just lost her brother and mother in a tragic accident, dressmaker Megan Kincaid has never felt so vulnerable and alone. Then comes the startling request from the wealthy Brandon Reid of Washington Square to work as a private caretaker to his violently tempered nine-year-old stepson, Jeremy. Megan reluctantly accepts, despite the facts of Jeremy's troubled past. Two years ago, the boy accidentally shot and killed his own father, a brilliant and esteemed New York district attorney. Everyone in the Reid family tries to bury--and hopefully forget--this fatal incident, but as Megan struggles to help her lost young ward, she begins to fear that her new employers--including Brandon, to whom she is passionately, irresistibly, and dangerously drawn--also have secrets. Now, as Megan delves further into the mysterious Reid family past, she's torn between a child she must save, a man she's come to love, and the desire to run for her life. A recipient of the Agatha Award for Lifetime Achievement, Phyllis A. Whitney has once again penned a "superior whodunit" (New York Morning Telegraph). This ebook features an illustrated biography of Phyllis A. Whitney including rare images from the author's estate.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813 — Literature English (North America) American fiction
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